Sydney, Australia, Jul 3 (EFE).- Australia’s new National Anti-Scam Center’s first taskforce will combat investment scams, a problem that costs citizens more than AU$1 billion ($666 million) a year, authorities said Monday.
“Investment scams lead to the highest level of reported individual losses and cause emotional devastation for victims,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said in a statement.
“That is why the National Anti-Scam Center is prioritizing investment scam disruption as its first fusion cell in an initiative that facilitates timely action by finance, telecommunications and digital platforms to stop scammers.”
The fusion cell, which the ACCC defines as a time-limited taskforce, will run for six months.
It aims to disrupt investment scams and stop scammers, take down scam websites, share information to help the private sector and the public, and identify intelligence to refer to national and international law enforcement.
The taskforce will be led by the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and include representatives from banks, the telecommunications industry and digital platforms.
The new National Anti-Scam Center started on July 1 and will coordinate a series of taskforces to target various scam types.
Australians lost a record AU$3.1 billion to scams in 2022 – an 80 percent increase on total losses recorded in 2021, according to data from the ACCC.
The main scams in Australia are related to investments, including cryptocurrencies, which are promoted online through impostors posing as representatives of financial institutions or banks.
The methods also include sending text messages with links to fraudulent websites, according to the ACCC. EFE